Thursday, December 4, 2008

Moved In!

It finally happened! We moved into the new house, and we are now faced with the unpacking and hanging pictures, and trying to find that one pair of shoes. Sunday was a joke. We had moved in on Saturday and were so exhausted by Saturday night that we just crashed. The next morning at 7:15am we woke up to get ready for church, but we knew there was no way we were all going to make it out the door to 8am church. Not to mention the fact that Rebekah had the stomach flu through all of this, so she couldn't go anyway.

Kent decided he would go to the first part of church, so I could get ready and make it to the last half since I needed to be there for Relief Society. He showered very fast, got dressed in wrinkly clothes, and then searched and searched and searched for shoes! The only shoes he could find were his tennis shoes, which weren't going to work. It turned out that we had left most of our shoes in the old house. Eventually, we did all make it to church in rotations, except Bekah. Thankfully, she is actually healthy this week.

Somehow I thought things would slow down once we moved into the new house, but the pace hasn't slowed. There's a constant rushing from one thing to the next; feeding the girls, cleaning the girls, cleaning the house, doing RS, unpacking boxes, feeding the girls, cleaning the girls, cleaning the house, etc. etc. After all that cleaning, you'd think that I had the cleanest kids and house on the planet, but somehow they still manage to look like street children by the end of the day. And my house...don't even get me started. At least now the messy house we live in is one that we own :-)

Other interesting happenings: Kent defended his master's project, which was really fun to see. I had never seen the completed solar/fuel cell hybrid system that he designed, so it was great to get the tour along with a few other people and to hear him talk about it. I'm so proud of him! He'll graduate in 2 weeks, and he is MORE than ready to be done with school! Love that man!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Carpet - Check, Painting - Check

Things are really coming together on the new house. We have been working every spare minute to get things ready for moving in. Our babysitter, who is also named Becca (spelled differently from our Bekah), has been very busy making money over at our house while Kent and I tried to make progress cleaning, prepping, painting, etc. It was slow going with just the 2 of us, but we finally got the master bedroom painted and ready for new carpet to be installed, which it was on Thursday. Now that room is completely transformed. My good friend, Arianne, suggested I do before and after pics, which I'll post when things are done throughout the house.

So, we got the new carpet in, some of the rooms prepped and painted, and then yesterday we had a painting party with some of Kent's family. We are so blessed to have family close by and that they are so willing to help. In one day we almost finished painting the entire house. There are minor things left like floorboards and 2 bathrooms, but the majority of the house looks amazing. Kent's mother who was suffering with an abscessed tooth spent the whole day cleaning while she was doped up. Bless that woman! No one can work as hard as she does! By the end of the day it was so amazing to see a beautiful house emerging from the filth.

On another note, my heart has been heavy with news of so much hatred poured out against the Mormon church. I think many of us who grew up in the church often heard stories of the pioneers' persecutions, and it sounded like a world away. Now thoughts of our ancestors are so much nearer, and I realize that we truly do live in the last days. I'm also sad that the feelings of many members towards people who live alternative lifestyles have been so misinterpreted. I love all of my friends, straight and gay. I would do anything to help any of them and I support everyone's right to make their own choices. But I believe that marriage is ordained of God for the creation of families, binding children to a mother and a father for eternity. I believe that we can disagree and still love each other; we can feel strongly and yet be civil and understanding of our differences. Isn't that what tolerance is all about?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wheezy!

My little Bekah was called a "happy wheezer" on Sunday, and it was actually a compliment. She's had pneumonia for almost 2 weeks, and on Sunday morning I got a scare when she was really struggling to breath for almost 2 hours. I gave her breathing treatments and the whole nine yards. I was freaking out. I took her to an urgent care, where they basically told me again that she has pneumonia and added 2 more medications to the 3 she was already taking. The whole time Bekah was playing and happy and really showing no signs of distress other than her wheezing. As we were leaving the doctor said, "Well, at least she's a happy wheezer!"

So, this has been my life the last week or so: breathing treatments, sneaking meds into her juice so she'll actually take them, and generally being a worried mother. I've always been a worrier, and I even used to worry about how much I would worry as a mother. Maija has inherited my worrying disorder and catches anything worrisome I might say and then proceeds to...worry! Somehow I feel like a hypocrite when I tell her, "Maija, don't worry about it!" What do they say? Practice what you preach?

On a more upbeat note, we closed on our house! We are pretty excited, even though there's a lot of work to be done. But at least it's OUR house! I'll post pics after we move in.

Some Funny Moments

* Today at another doctor's appointment with Bekah, she said to me, "Mommy, you so funny!"

* Me: "Bekah, we need to change your poopy diaper." Bekah: "No, I don't want poop!" ( Yeah, well neither do I!!!!!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Too Much Time On My Hands

Yes, that is the title of an 80s Styx song. If you don't know who that band is, you're either a lot older or a lot younger than I am. I'll forgive you! Not that I was a huge Styx fan or anything. I was, however, a Taylor Dayne fan who I happened to meet on a military base in Korea. She was doing a USO tour, and I had to go and check it out. I went up to her after the show and said, "I am a die-hard 80s fan" to which she replied, "Welcome to the 2000's!" Hmmm...I'm guessing I hit a nerve.

Apparently, I did have too much time on my hands because since my last blog everything has kicked into high gear, and we are swamped. Let's just say that when Kent finishes school, is done with his company's merger, we get the keys to our new house (which should happen any day), clean and paint the new house, move into the new house, get Rebekah over pneumonia, go to my cousin's wedding, and somehow still fulfill our church callings...and maintain some normalcy for our children, I will give a HUGE sigh of relief and get ready for the next storm.

Here are some adorable pictures of the girls from various events, including Halloween, of course!


















Monday, October 6, 2008

Schnepf Farms

Maija's preschool had a field trip to Schnepf Farms last week where the Halloween season is already underway. They have a pumpkin patch, where you can pick one or two up, and carnival rides, a train ride, a petting zoo, and several other fun things for kids to do. We started out fairly early in the morning around 9:30am, but being Arizona it was already nearly 100F by the time we left around noon. It was hot!!!

Here are a few pictures:


Maija waiting for class pictures to be taken



Maija with friend, Tess.



Bekah came, too.



Maija, Tess, and Bekah after picking their pumpkins.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New House, New Job (sort of)

I've avoided blogging in the last few weeks because of the uncertainty in our lives. We were trying to decide whether to stay in Arizona or to move, whether to buy a house now or keep renting, and basically just wanting to figure out what our future looks like. I felt like it wasn't a great idea to blog publicly about all of this until things were decided and somewhat settled. So, now they are!

Kent will be staying at his current job, sort of. There is actually a merger/take-over underway which will change his employer and his position at work. This is a good and exciting change, which led us to commit to staying in Arizona for several years at least. That led us to decide to buy a house, which we are in the process of doing. So, in the end we are staying in the same neighborhood, same ward, same job, except that once Kent graduates in December everything will be different. We'll be in our own home; we won't have to live off student loans anymore; and I can finally feel free to plant roots where we're at.

What's interesting is how during this time some other changes have been in the works which will bring my sister closer to us; she'll be living about 2 minutes away. The other surprise for me was how much I really did want to stay. Anyone who has known me for a while knows that I am a nomad, and I'm not used to staying in one place. I've lived in Arizona for 7 consecutive years now, which is a record for me. The whole time Kent has been in school, I just couldn't imagine that we would stay here in Arizona. Although Arizona is by far my favorite place to live in the U.S., I always just assumed we'd be leaving. But when decision time came, we both knew and had very strong feelings that we needed to stay where we are.

Now we can begin the process of moving houses...again!

Some Alicia Moments...
Lest I forget to continue the series on my life as Alicia (the cartoon character from Diego), I have to include a few cute comments from Maija:

Our dog, Remy, was chewing on one of Maija's toys, and she said, "No, Remy! You are a wicked dog!" Maybe she's watched too many Book of Mormon and Bible cartoons.

After asking for a cracker to eat, Maija ran outside with it and proclaimed, "I love crackers on a windy day!" Then she proceeded to sing it over and over, "I love crackers on a windy day! I love crackers on a windy day!"

Bekah continues to be cute and full of personality. She has no fear whatsoever and keeps me on my toes.

And I continue to play the role of Alicia occasionally, although now that Bekah is talking more, Maija tends to make her play the role of either Dora or Alicia.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Great Quotes

A Few Great Quotes from the Kids:

"Mommy, when I grow up I want to be just like you." - Maija
(Seriously, could anything be sweeter? Although I hope she is better than me on several counts.)

"It's Pahlo (Pablo). It's Tywoh (Tyrone). It's Niwa (Uniqua). It's Taha (Tasha). It's Ahtin (Austin)." - Bekah
(She was pointing to pictures of the Backyardigans and naming each one of them. I was pretty surprised that she knew any of their names. It goes to show you that even though they can't say much, one-year-olds understand a lot.)

"Mommy, you are making me crazy!" - Maija
(There's nothing worse than hearing yourself when your child speaks.)

"Oh no!" - Bekah
(She pretty much says it for everything - "Oh no! It's tah (a car)." "Oh no! Shoe! (my shoe came off!)" "Oh no! Poo poo (no translation necessary)." )

In Other News

Our family did take a road trip to the Bay Area in California. We had a great time and got to spend the week at my aunt and uncle's house and see my cousins, and we got to see my brother, Rusty. The weather was gorgeous, and I loved all the trees and greenery. Click on the pic below to see a slideshow of our trip.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

False Starts

This is my 3rd attempt to begin a new post. I started writing about how I've been working with Cub Scouts, but then I realized there wasn't much to tell, at least not that I'd want to blog about. Then I was going to write about Kent's upcoming graduation in December until I realized that the only thing I had to say was that we don't know what that will mean for our family - and now I've said that in one sentence. Truthfully, the most entertaining part of my life is my children. Lately, Maija has been making me laugh and surprising me with her comments: "Mommy, I didn't hear you say please!" or "Mommy, you are making me so mad!" Yeah, she thinks she's in charge. For the hundredth time this week I reminded her, "I am the mommy." Then she said, "Well, I am Maija." Aha! The "Maija" trumps all.

Mainly, the last week has been a juggling act - getting Maija to preschool and dance class, taking Rebekah to tumbling class, going to Cub Scouts training meetings, planning meetings, den meetings, visiting with relatives on the Farny side, and trying to keep up with my house in the meantime. I'm pretty confident that most of the women I know, especially those with children, are in the same boat. Even though it sometimes feels overwhelming, the truth is that being busy makes me happy. I love seeing my girls learn new things and have a chance to be active, even though it is WAY too hot to play outside. I love learning something new myself with Cub Scouts and other activities. I love the feeling of seeing my house clean for the 2 minutes it will actually stay that way. Overall, things are good.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Life in Music - My Life as Alicia Part 3

You can see pics of Maija's first day of preschool by clicking on this picture -

This is yet another Maija story, but I just had to blog about it. There's a Bekah story, too. I know. You're all waiting with baited breath for the next installment of "Life With Kim's Kids" or what I am affectionately referring to as the "Life As Alicia" series.

Dinnertime presents all sorts of fun challenges, as I know it does for most households with children. With Maija it's getting her to stay in her seat long enough to actually eat something! Usually when she proclaims that she's done, that means she has eaten 1 or 2 bites of food, and she is pretty sure that's enough to get her through until the morning because we all know how important it is to get back to playing.

Tonight she said she was done eating after the usual 2 bites, and Kent told her that she had to wait until we were all done eating. He tried to get her to eat more to no avail, so he told her that even if she didn't want to eat, the rest of us did. She continued to insist that she was done and should be allowed to leave the table. Finally, Kent told her to sing a song while she waited for us. This was, of course, a desperate attempt to divert her attention from the issue at hand. So what does she do? She starts singing, "When can I get down? When can I get down? When can I get down?..." over and over and over!

The Bekah story may not be as funny in writing as it was to see, but I'll give it a shot. She has started standing on the back of our love seat to see over the half-wall into the kitchen. Most of the time she'll practically climb right over the divider wall trying to reach some tempting item on the kitchen counter. No matter how many times we tell her that she is not allowed to climb up there, she will inevitably try again. Once again, this afternoon she climbed up on the back of the couch and was standing on her tippy-toes to see over the wall. Kent told her, "Rebekah! Get down!" She immediately burst into tears, collapsed onto the couch sobbing, then rolled (purposely) onto the ground where she continued to cry as she sat there face down for the next several minutes. At 18 months, Rebekah is already a drama queen, and she knows how to throw a tantrum!

Other than my tales from the front lines of motherhood, there's not much to report. We're just trying to live each day the best we can.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Who's The Boss?

Continuing on the vein of Maija's need to pretty much run our lives, yesterday she was on one! Rebekah had taken a CD which I needed for work. I told her that she needed to give it back, which she really didn't want to do. Finally, I said, "Rebekah, no, no, no. Mommy needs that CD." I tried to take it out of her hands which led to a short tug-of-war. When I got the CD out of her hands, she immediately collapsed on the floor in a pool of tears. It was just about her nap time; I decided it was time to put her down.

As I picked her up, I heard Maija behind me, "Remember, Mommy, no fighting! OK? No fighting, Mommy." I started chuckling a little to myself and replied, "Maija, I wasn't fighting with Rebekah." "Yes, Mommy, I saw you. You were fighting. Now, no fighting, OK? Remember!" This made me laugh more, but I was trying really hard not to let Maija see. Of course, Rebekah who I was still holding did see me laughing and thought she'd join in, so she started laughing and laughing. Then I hear Maija say, "Now give Rebekah a hug and a kiss and say you're sorry!" All I could get out between laughs was "sorry".

Later in the day, Maija began to reprimand me for something else, and I finally told her, "Maija, I am the mommy. You don't tell me what to do." To which she quickly retorted, "But I want to!" Heaven help me!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Life as Alicia - Part 2

Although I didn't have to play the roll of Alicia today, I did get a kick out of listening to Rebekah watch Dora. She's only 18 months, but she loves "Dowa" so much she will sit and interact completely with the show. When I hear Dora ask, "Can you help us save the pigmy marmoset?" Rebekah will say, "Yeah!" Or she'll answer "No" if she has seen the episode before and knows the answer is no. It's too funny! The funniest part to me is when she tries to repeat the Spanish phrases, especially since she can hardly speak English! Dora will say, "Can you say 'arriba'? Say 'arriba'!" And here's little Bekah repeating, "Iba".

Also, I have to publicly thank my sister-in-law, Jeannie, who took BOTH of my girls all day today! She was even willing to take them overnight, but I figured having them gone all day would be enough. It was nice to have the day to myself, but when I saw their cute little faces when they came home, I realized I had missed them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back Home and Adjusting: My Life As Alicia

Whew! The rush of July is coming to a close, and it was definitely an eventful month. We got back from our North Carolina trip a week ago today, but it really does feel like we were there a month ago. I listed a lot of our plans in a previous post, but just for fun, I made a list of everything that happened in July:

  • Week 1 - Went to Pinetop and Snowflake for 4th of July! Girls got to ride a horse for the first time. Bekah loved it!
  • Week 2 - Visited with my parents who were renting a house in Gilbert - did Swim Class and Dance Class for Maija - my parents left town - I was called into the Primary Presidency as 2nd Counselor (basically, I'm working with the children at church and overseeing Cub Scouts)
  • Week 3 - Flew to North Carolina to visit my parents - Kent golfed every day - I enjoyed my mother's help with the girls & got a shopping day with my mother and no children!
  • Week 4 - Flew back to Phoenix on a 6am flight (we left my parents' house @ 3am...not fun!) - Maija & Bekah rode their 1st train at the Atlanta airport - I jumped right into Primary work - Maija finished Swim Class for the summer and started another session of dance classes - Kent took his final exam in his summer class - On the weekend, we rested & caught up on housework
  • Week 5 - Celebrated Kent's mother's birthday with the inlaws - got my hair colored for the 1st time in years (that was today, so that's where I'll end.)


Click on this link to see pictures of our fun and crazy month - http://picasaweb.google.com/farnies4/July2008




My Life as Alicia - Episode 1

As a final note, I often find myself being assigned the part of Alicia, as in Diego's sister Alicia. Maija will tell me at the beginning of the day, "You are pretending to be Alicia, and I am pretending to be Diego. OK?" That "OK?" is not really to secure my approval because this is really more of an order than a negotiation. For the rest of the day she will refer to me as Alicia: "Alicia, I want juice!" "Alicia, I'm hungry." "I hurt myself, Alicia." And if I don't refer to her as Diego, she often will not respond. Today was one of my Alicia days, and at one point after I helped Diego, oh, I mean Maija, put on her pants, she hugged me and said, "That's my girl, Alicia!" So funny!

Monday, July 14, 2008

95

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!



I'm not sure what this says about me, but the test is pretty funny.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tuesday Is The Day

Maija has become particularly attached to Tuesdays this summer because that's the day she has her swim class. The best part of swim class for her is not the class itself. It's getting to go to her cousin's house where we have the swim lessons. Amazingly, she often knows first thing in the morning if it's Tuesday and will tell me excitedly, "Mommy! Today is Tuesday! What do I get to do today? Go to K's house?" Her cousin, K (I'll just use the initial here), is her favorite person in the whole world, which is really sweet, especially since they were born close together. Maija was actually blessed in church right as K was being born.

This Tuesday is another special day for her, and all of us, because we're headed to North Carolina to visit Mummi and Grandpa. Maija keeps asking me, "What day is it today? Is it Tuesday? Can we go on an airplane?" I'm excited for our trip once we get to NC, but not so much for the actual trip there and back. We usually get to fly direct, but this time we've got layovers both ways, and Rebekah is also MUCH more difficult than she used to be. It should be interesting. We'll be bringing plenty of books and toys and blankies and sippy cups and snacks...whatever we gotta do to keep the girls from wigging out on the plane. That's got to be a parent's worst nightmare. There's no escape when you're on a plane. Everyone has to suffer with you regardless. So, avoiding a meltdown is paramount.

I'll post pics of our trip, plus a few video clips I've been meaning to upload.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Our Crazy July

I haven't blogged in a few weeks. There's been a lot going on, mostly revolving around family events. My parents flew in in mid-June to stay in the area for nearly a month. This has meant that on top of living our normal lives, we've been doing a lot of visiting between their rental place and our house. Frankly, I'm exhausted. It's great to have them close by, but the running around is tiring. Although the girls are in seventh heaven having so much attention and a great pool to swim at whenever they want.

In the midst of all of this, we've also been trying to get to swim class and a summer dance class for Maija. Both classes are almost over, and I think I'll give a sigh of relief when we can just "be" again, whatever that means. We also drove up to Pinetop to be with some of Kent's family for the 4th of July. It was so much fun to be with everyone, and the girls played and played and played! After 3 days, we were all worn out by the time we got home. We have 1 week at home, and then next week we head to North Carolina to ... visit my parents. Originally, my parents were not going to be coming here to see us this summer, so we had booked airline tickets for the four of us to go see them. Then all the plans changed, but we were still locked into the airline tickets...so we'll be heading out that way for a week.

By the time we get back from our trip, it'll be nearly the end of July!!! Kent's night class (he's had a class until 10:30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays) will be over, Maija's classes will be over, the summer will be almost over. Then the next big event for our little family will be when Maija starts preschool in early August. Whew! It's like an endurance race sometimes.

I hope everyone else's summer is filled with fun, too.

Friday, June 20, 2008

She Said

A few cute things the girls have said and done recently:

Maija had to go to the dentist today and get 2 fillings. I won't go into the guilt I felt over her having cavities even though we brush every day. Anyway, in order to have the work done, she had to take some medication which made her really loopy, and then they put her in a vest to basically strap down her arms so she didn't have any sudden movements. Of course, I was stressing about how the whole process would go. The dentist assured me that she wouldn't remember anything, so when we got home and she had gotten back to herself, of course we had to ask what she remembered. She said, "We went into the Finding Nemo room, I had a drink, and then Mommy read me a Backyardigans book." We asked her, "And then what?" She went on, "Then they put me in a chair and put on my wings, and then we went home." I'm pretty sure the "wings" referred to the restraining jacket they put on. In the end, she did really well and seems to have only remembered the nicer things. I have to mention how amazing her dentist is, Dr. Bashara at Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry (http://sweettoothpedo.com). I love that place!

Another funny thing Maija came out with today. While we were waiting for the medication to start working, one of the dental assistants had given Maija a toy ring to wear. Maija looked at me and said, "Maybe I can get married now!" Then when the dentist asked her where she had gotten the ring, she replied, "It's my wedding ring." You should've seen his face. So funny!

Rebekah continues to be a very assertive and strong-willed girl, along with being totally adorable and loving. She has started saying "I want up", "I want down", "I want bak" (blanket), and "no" while she shakes her vigorously, among other things. She has also started biting! Actually, she only did it 1 time so far, but I was completely shocked. We were doing swim class, and she had decided she was done. I wouldn't let her get out of the pool and kept holding on to her and trying to get her to participate. I guess she didn't like that because as soon as my arm rested near her chin, she took the opportunity to chomp right down on it. Ouch! Those little baby teeth are strong.

Just another day at the Farny household.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Who Killed the Farnies' Electric Car?

It was me! I confess. Kent and I have been talking for a long time about either building an electric car, converting one, or buying one. The idea of plugging in your car for a few hours and then driving gas-free is very appealing to us, not to mention just plain old cool. As I discussed in my previous post, with gas prices being as high as they are and talk of further price hikes, we revisited our plans and started thinking that maybe this time we would really do it!

Kent started researching parts needed, and the type of vehicle that would best, etc. etc. I searched the internet looking for existing used electric vehicles. Surprisingly, it is next to impossible to buy a decent EV that is new; there are a few used EVs out there, but even they are few and far between. Then tonight Kent and I sat down to look at what he had found in his research about building or converting one ourselves. In the end, I realized that this would be a major project (even hiring someone else to do the installation) and it would cost almost double what we originally thought.

Sadly, our dream of owing an electric vehicle will continue to live only in our minds and hearts. We'll either have to wait until we can afford the $100,000 price tag on a new electric Tesla (http://www.teslamotors.com/), or until Kent happens to have hours and hours of free time and plenty of money to buy parts to do it himself. At least Kent's current car, a Honda Civic, gets decent mileage even if we have to use our children's college tuition to afford to drive it.

For interesting reading and/or watching about EVs, you can read about Chris Pane's documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" http://www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheelectriccar/

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Gas Prices

Everyone seems to be feeling the pain of the increase in gas and food prices. I drove by a gas station today and saw that gas is now $4.19 a gallon. What?!? I never thought I would see the day. When I was living in Seoul, Korea back in 1999, I remember how shocking it was to pay $40 to fill up my little Kia Sephia sedan. My American friends just couldn't understand why gas cost so much there. So, here we are 9 years later, and guess what! It costs an arm and a leg for gas even in the U.S. of A.

Since Kent's field is alternative fuels, we are always talking about using an alt. fuel car or putting panels up to defray energy costs at home. The problem is that all of these things cost MONEY! We would love to have an alt fuel car, but we can't afford to buy one. We'd love to have solar panels on our house, but we can't afford to pay for the installation (even though Kent does have access to free panels.) So...we will have to limp along like the rest of America.

The one positive note for our family is that as gas prices go up, the demand for alternative fuel sources goes up. So...one day, hopefully not too far away, we might be able to afford to actually USE the alternative energy sources my husband designs and tests.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Friends

I love my friends! Although I often get caught up in the everyday cares of raising kids and keeping our family going, when I get the rare chance to visit with old friends, it is the best! In the last week I've been able to visit with 2 old friends, JJ, who I've known since our days on the mission in Spain 16 (gulp!) years ago, and Jean the Dream, who was in my graduate program at ASU.

JJ came over and my girls instantly loved her. See some pics of our visit:

Kim & JJ Now and Then


15 Years Ago - On The Mission in Spain - 1993
Some things never change.



"What the? You ladies are crazy!" thinks Bekah.




Bekah's coming around. Maybe being crazy ain't so bad.






Then, yesterday we met up with Jean and her 2 little boys for some play time, which really ended up being chase-our-kids-around time. It was fun to catch up in between running around and averting the next disaster. Here are a few pictures of our time:



A quick little story - Rebekah has no fear and was running around the whole place regardless of where I happened to be. A few times during the day I had moments of panic when I couldn't find her right away. Then there she'd be, stealing other kids' tokens and putting them in her mouth, or reaching for the already-eaten candy on the ground (yuk!) Towards the end of our day, a child with another group fell off one of the rides, and the paramedics had to come. Here they were surrounding the child, who lay on the ground right in front of the main entrance. So, what does Rebekah do? She got away from me and ran straight over the paramedics and the hurt child. I got to her just before she actually tried touching the child's face. I'm telling you, she has no fear! Which scares me to death.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Influenza

There's a reason other than just plain laziness why I haven't blogged in the last week - the flu! I read the following online, "This year, people who received flu shots were just as likely to get the flu as those who did not get flu shots." - From http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=906.

This was true at our house. After thinking that I had gotten through flu season without catching a flu, I got slammed last week with a doozy. Rebekah was the first to get it, then 2 days later Maija got it, and I was feeling sorry for myself that I'd be home alone with 2 sick kids, while Kent went to San Diego (see my previous post.) Well, the day he left, I got hit with it, and it was a nasty flu. So, here we are 11 days later, and all three of us Farny girls are on antibiotics for secondary infections ranging from ear infection, bronchitis, to sinus infection. It's been a miserable week and a half.

The hero in this story is my husband, who jumped on an airplane an hour after I called him and begged him to come home early. Even though it was only a question of a few hours' difference, having him home early saved me! He walked in the door after coming straight from the airport, sent me to bed, and completely took over. I love that man!!!

So...will we get flu shots next year? Probably. Let's just hope they get it right next flu season.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Single Parents

Although I do not think that single parenthood is the ideal for either the parent or the child, I admire single parents who do their best and keep moving forward. Before I was a mother, I never could have imagined the amount of work and sacrifice required to raise children. I had heard others tell me of their challenges and had even seen some difficult situations, but as with anything else, you never know what it is like to go through something, until you have gone through it yourself.

I think this must be true with being a single parent. Since I haven't ever been a single mother myself, I will not presume to understand what it is like, but every time my husband goes out of town on business, I have a newfound respect for those parents who go it alone all the time. In the interest of full disclosure, I must add that I am extremely lucky to have a supportive and involved husband, who does quite a bit of his own sacrificing for our girls, and for me. I realize that in many ways I am spoiled, but I realize it even more when he's not around.

So, I'm already preparing myself mentally for next week, when I will be doing it solo. Luckily, Kent doesn't travel a lot, but the few times he is gone make me realize how amazing my own mother was. She wasn't a single mother either, but my father travelled a lot. He was gone about 2 weeks out of every month, and it was usually to another country halfway around the globe. Not only did my mother have to deal with us, but she also dealt with broken water heaters, flat tires, and a host of other repairs by herself. I can only imagine how many nights she felt alone and didn't know if she could go on. But for her there was relief in sight, knowing my father would return. I can't imagine how much more a single mother would feel the loneliness, not to mention the sheer exhaustion.

We all have our cross to bear, I suppose. However, now and then I get a glimpse of what someone else's cross might be like, and it is a good exercise in empathy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Texas Debacle

I just can't take it anymore! I keep seeing stories on television or reading the latest about the FLDS raid in Texas, and all I can think is, "Why are the children being punished?" If you truly believe that these children have been abused, why aren't the alleged abusers the ones sitting in a coliseum and sleeping on cots? This absolutely galls me and breaks my heart. As a mother, I can't help but think about how my innocent little girls' hearts would break to be taken from all they know and from their mommy. Why aren't the men the ones in custody?


I've heard many "experts" on various TV networks saying that Texas CPS did the right thing, and these children need to be "deprogrammed". And the government is going to do this? Ha! Even Carolyn Jessop, who escaped from the FLDS community in Colorado City, Arizona had one of her children later return to the group of her own volition. If a mother, who experienced the nightmare firsthand, could not "deprogram" her own child, then there is about zero chance these children will "see the light" and want to live in the outside world. This whole experience will only serve to reinforce everything they have been taught about people outside of their compound.


The other issue I have with this whole fiasco is the general arrogance portrayed by just about everyone. Apparently, our society on the outside world has no abuse, no sexual perversion, no teenage mothers...no, it's fine that we are placing children in same-sex households, that pornography has been completely normalized and pervades our culture, but it's THEY who are weird, perverse, and need to be "educated". I am not saying that I agree with how the FLDS culture works, but we should at least consider for a moment that they are not the only group in the world still practicing polygamy. Much of the Islamic world condones and practices polygamy. We may not agree with it, but we ought to respect their freedom to practice their religion.


Mike Watkiss from Phoenix's Channel 3 put it well when he said that it's not about polygamy itself, it's about underage girls forced into marriage with much older men. I absolutely agree that something should be done to protect these girls, so take the men and subject them to questioning, DNA testing, medical exams and the like. The children should NOT be made to suffer because of what we suspect their parents may be doing. It is truly frightening that 400 plus children can be dragged from their homes and made to live out one of their biggest fears; these children have been taught that the evil outsiders want to take them away and hurt them. And that is exactly what has happened.


See Fox's Judge Andrew Napolitano with his "verdict" on this issue - HERE

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thoughts About Motherhood

OK, so here is the thought provoking post about one of my "keys to happiness." I love being a mother! I have had my share of trials becoming a mother. I had trouble finding the father, first of all, and then once we found each other and married, getting the children here was no easy task. I won't bore you with the long version, but I will sum up by saying that I had 5 surgeries in 3 years (including my 2 c-sections) and ended up with HELLP syndrome (HERE is a good description of what that is) with my 1st baby and preeclampsia with my second.

Of course, even with "normal" deliveries, having a baby is no easy task. Then, once they're here, your world is changed forever and that can be really overwhelming. There are definitely days when I feel like I'm ready to go hide under a rock somewhere, or in my bathroom, or in my bed... But there are so many other times when I am grateful to have these two beautiful children who are bright, fun, innocent people. Do they know the sacrifices I am making for them? No. They may never know until they have their own children, but that isn't the point. It's not about acknowledgment or recognition. It's about having my three-year-old tell me, "Mommy, I'm so proud of you for going on the potty!" after watching me pee, or hearing my one-year-old point and ask, "What's dat?" about EVERYTHING!

Whoever these girls become has a lot to do with what I am doing now. Their impressions of the world and how they fit into it will be based to a large extent on how I treat them, and how they feel growing up in our home. It is true that I have known people who came from extremely difficult backgrounds rise above their childhood and become productive, happy adults. But, my hope is that my children will at least know that no matter what happens, I love them and will always be there.

So, what has made me think about this on this Monday morning? Mostly the fact that when I woke up today and heard my baby yelling, "Mama!" from her crib, I knew that she meant me. I am a mama; I am her mama, and nobody can replace me or do what I do for her. There are many who could take care of her and be there for her, but I will always be her mother. Is it overwhelming? Yes. Is it challenging? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely!

Who wouldn't fall in love with these 2 faces?

I've Been Tagged

Although I do have a few things to blog about, in the interest of sleep I will humor my friend, Arianne, and play Blogger Tag.


5 Things Meme


What I was doing ten years ago...


1. Getting ready to move to Korea
2. Still single and not dating anyone
3. Answering questions like, "How can you move to Korea? Don't you ever want to get married?" (BTW, my now-husband was about to marry someone else and was not available at the time anyway.)
4. Teaching high school Spanish
5. Living in Utah

Five things on my to-do list today...

1. Go to church (Check)
2. Take a nap (Check)
3. Hang out with family (Check)
4. Plan out the week with my hubby (Check)
5. Check e-mails (Check)
Pretty productive day as far as I can tell :-)

Five snacks I enjoy...

1. Chocolate with almonds
2. Chocolate cake
3. Chocolate ice cream
4. Hot chocolate
5. Chocolate con churros

Five things I would do if I was a billionaire...

1. Buy a house
2. Buy a new wardrobe
3. Travel
4. Pay back my student loans
5. Give money to children's charities

Five of my bad habits....

1. Eating chocolate
2. Staying up too late blogging and checking e-mails
3. Monk (if you know what I'm talking about, you'll understand)
4. Worrying
5. Letting Maija watch another episode of Diego, so I can have a minute to myself

Five places I have lived....

1. Madrid, Spain (twice)
2. Provo, Utah (three times)
3. Schenectady, NY (twice)
4. Hong Kong
5. Quebec, Canada

Five jobs I've had....

1. Pizza Hut server, dishwasher, hostess, cook
2. Cashier at a mini-mart in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3. BYU Bookstore help desk
4. Utah County Prenatal Program for mothers with substance abuse issues
5. The hardest job of all ..... mother!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Key to Happiness

Let me say right now that if you think this is going to be a deep, pensive post about how one can find true happiness, you might as well stop reading right now.   This week the KEY to my happiness is that I found my keys!!!   I know, it's a corny play on words, but anyway....

After a morning visit at Grandma's house, I was loading up the girls and decided to stow one of the stowable seats in our minivan.    My mother-in-law was helping me get everyone strapped in and settled, and I walked around to the driver's side.  I looked down on the driver's seat and saw.....MY LOST KEYS!!!!    My mother-in-law found them on the floor of the van right where the stowed seat had been.   I was so relieved and a little frustrated that I had already spent the fifty bucks to replace our mail key.   At least I hadn't gotten to replacing the keyless entry remote yet... Whew!!!   

Oddly enough, in response to a posted comment (see it  HERE), I told a story about Maija claiming the lost keys were in "the car."   In the end, they really were in the car, and, yes, Maija, I am a "silly Mommy."

Here is a cute picture of Sleeping Beauty Maija.  She fell asleep in one of her princess outfits.

 

Friday, April 4, 2008

Losing Things...Including My Mind!

There is nothing worse than losing your keys.  OK, maybe there is something worse than that, but humor me!   About a week ago, my key ring went missing.  Actually, it is only part of my key ring.  I usually have the key ring with my car keys on it, and a separate one with one of those "handy" detachable clips, so I can multitask.  The detachable ring had my keyless entry remote for my car, my house keys, my sister's house key, and our only mail key.  

After days of waiting for the key ring to suddenly appear, Kent and I started searching in earnest for the keys.  We turned our couches inside out to no avail;  it's amazing and disgusting what actually gets trapped inside the crevasses of our couches.   We searched the cars, the diaper bag, my purse, our pants pockets, and anything else we could think of.   Nothing!   I was getting more and more frustrated knowing the mail was piling up in our mailbox that we couldn't get to (not to mention our Netflix movie that was waiting to be watched!)   But we still held out hope that they keys would appear.

On the fifth day, that would be yesterday, I started calling around to find out how much it was going to cost to replace everything.  The post office said that our boxes were actually "builder" boxes, which means the HOA handles it.  The HOA said we had to call a contracted company.  The contracted company said it would cost $63, and we would have to wait a WEEK before they could come.  What?!?!    And this is just for the mail key.  Forget the keyless entry to my car, which I haven't even started trying to deal with yet.   Kent suggested we search again before spending the money to replace everything.  

One more fruitless search, and I finally decided to put our mail on hold at the post office and start the process of replacing the mail key.  I called the post office, and a very nice postal worker told me that she could give the number of an independent locksmith who could do it for $40 and would get it replaced within 24 hours.   So, after all of the searching, phone calls, and frustration, the independent locksmith came 2 hours after I called him this morning, replaced the lock, gave us 3 mail keys, and charged us $50 instead of the $40 suggested by the postal lady.   But, it is replaced!!!  

Now to replace house keys and the keyless entry remote.   

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My April Fool's Plans

Although in my world it is still Monday night (3/31), in the real world it is well after midnight, which means it's really April Fools' Day!   I've been thinking about what kind of joke to play on my husband.  I'm fairly confident (I'd say 99.9% sure) that he won't read this blog before I can play a joke on him, so...what to do?  


My first thought was to call him at work and tell him that there had been some kind of clerical error, and we owe $2000 to some financial institution or another.  But then that might be too mean, since I'm pretty sure he'd freak out about that.   I could make up some story about having to leave town for a week to take care of an ailing relative, and that I'd have to leave the girls with him.  :)  *grin*   That's a good one.  Hmmm....   I'll have to keep thinking.


April Fools Part II - What Happened?
(Posted after the fact) 

I finally decided to give my husband a real scare.   I called him at work and told him that the Stake Executive Secretary had called and said that the Stake Presidency wanted to meet with us before the end of the week.   For those who aren't sure what that means, a stake presidency is a council of 3 men who oversees several church congregations.  If they call, it usually means they are asking you to do something big, like be in charge of something.   Kent was definitely a little freaked out (*grin*) and I let him stew about it for most of the day.  Finally, at the end of the day, I told him that it was an April Fools joke.  He was slightly amused, but I thought it was pretty funny myself.   

Monday, March 17, 2008

She's In!

We got an e-mail today from the preschool I was hoping to get Maija into. There is a spot open, so...yea!!!...Maija will for sure be going to preschool in the fall. I think I've even got summer lined up. Am I a soccer mom in training or what?

I've been teaching a little Spanish preschool class for about a month now, and I have to say that I am loving teaching again. There is something so fulfilling about seeing the lights come on, especially when they are so young and are absorbing the world around them. Many linguists believe that there is a critical period for acquiring language, which pretty much ends at puberty, and is at its height in the preschool years. You can see it with these little girls. They are taking so much in and are learning faster than my high school kids ever did.

Maija is in the Spanish class, so between my speaking to her occasionally, watching Dora, and her Spanish class, she is actually picking things up. The other night after tucking her in bed, I was headed out of her room, when she yelled to me, "Mommy! ¡Espera!" which means "Wait!" That made my day! Spontaneous EspaƱol. Now I'll have to start working on Rebekah too.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Preschool Push

One of the "joys" of living on the outer-outskirts of town is that there just aren't enough businesses, stores, or services around. The latest dilemma has been figuring out preschool for Maija. She is starting to go stir crazy at home (making 2 of us) and is asking all the time, "Where's my school?" as we drive past our neighborhood elementary. I kept telling her that she couldn't go to school until she could go peepies on the potty.

Well, now she goes peepies on the potty (most of the time,) and she now says as we pass the elementary school, "I get to go to MY school because I go on the potty." Sigh. Now I have to do that following through part. I started by asking some of the young moms at church about local preschools, and they had great things to say about their children's schools. But, as I soon found out, getting INTO one of these schools would be no easy task.

Believe it or not, to get in for this fall it's pretty much too late already. Luckily, I started contacting preschools and submitting forms before everything filled up, but as it is, we are still on waiting lists. Is that crazy, or what? These kids are not even kindergarten age, and you have to "tour" the preschools, submit forms, pay deposits, and sit on waiting lists to get into the local homegrown preschools - these aren't fancy pre-Ivy League schools. We're talking about your average at-home operations.

The good news is that one of the home-based preschools in our neighborhood says that Maija is as good as in since we are at the top of the waiting list. The sad news is that I NEVER thought I'd be the kind of mother who would be clamoring to get my 3 year-old into preschool, waiting lists and all. Of course, I also had no idea before having a 3 year-old how ready I would be to get 2 hours twice a week with only 1 child at home.

I'm guessing that 30 years ago (OK, fine, 33 years ago) when I was 3 years old things weren't like this. Disposable diapers didn't exist, car seats as we know them didn't exist, and 3 year old children didn't go to Little Gym classes and sit on waiting lists for preschool. I'm not sure what is better, but I will say that those once-a-week tumbling classes sure do save my sanity. I'm already figuring out what we can do during the summer to keep all of us from climbing the walls in our air-conditioned home. I love the desert, but summers can be brutal!

Wish us luck with our preschool odyssey!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Flew Past January, Sliding Through February, and Onto March...

Before I give my 4 big excuses for not having posted in ages, I have to thank those friends who actually check my blog often enough to notice that it is outdated. Seriously, I didn't realize anyone cared....shows ya how much I still have to learn about the blogosphere (yes, I had to look up how to spell that word.)

So here are the BIG 4 reasons why I've been too busy to blog...or too tired....or ....

BIG REASON #1 - Our Trip to Utah

We had been planning for a couple of months to take a trip up to Utah in early January. I had meticulously prepared every detail, Pricelining hotels, rental cars, and using airline miles for airline tickets etc. What do they say about the best laid plans? Well, two days before our flight was to leave, both Maija and Rebekah got fevers. We immediately got them to the doctor's office, so we could make sure they got healthy ASAP. Nice try!!! Rebekah had a double ear infection, and Maija had strep. Both girls went on antibiotics, and the doc suggested we get Rebekah rechecked the night before our flight.

Thursday evening we took Rebekah to the pediatrician, and she said her ears hadn't gotten any better and that she strongly recommended we not take her on an airplane!!! Sigh! She said that both girls were fine to travel, just not on an airplane. We called the airline, the car rental places, the hotels, and luckily, we got SOME of our money refunded. But the real question was whether to try to drive up to Utah or let it go. We finally opted to drive and faced another interesting challenge, snow, LOTS of it! After a grueling drive, we made it to Utah, and proceeded to visit as many people as possible. You can see pics here.

BIG REASON #2 - The Girls' Birthdays

Maija and Rebekah's birthdays are 6 days apart, so I decided to do one party for both girls and have it be a mostly family affair. With 12 cousins on their daddy's side of the family, seven of them under the age of 5, we figured that would be enough chaos and fun for all of us! Although it was Rebekah's first birthday, I knew that Maija would care a lot more about it, so I opted to go with a SuperWhy theme....her absolute FAVORITE cartoon in the whole world. The problem is that the cartoon is new enough that there are ZERO SuperWhy products out there: no dolls, no party items, no posters, nothing. Here's where I prove my dedication as a mother - I made SuperWhy balloons, plates, cups, and a tablecloth all by myself the night before the party....OK, not ALL by myself, Kent did help a lot. But, as he put it, I would never have done this for the girls, if you weren't doing it. That's why I'm the mommy. The party was great! You can see pics
here.

BIG REASON #3 - Spain Trip

That's right! Kent and I went to Spain. It was an amazing trip. Not only were we on our own without the girls, but we had such a great time seeing beautiful Spain. I played tour guide, having lived in Madrid as a little girl and again in my early 20s as a missionary. We saw some of the most amazing castles, cities, cathedrals, and I had a lot of fun using my Spanish again. We rented a car right at the airport in Madrid on Friday morning (we arrived at 9am) and then drove straight to my old house in the town of Pozuelo, outside of Madrid. I had visited the house during my mission, and again right after my mission, but that was 14 years ago. Not much had changed in 14 years, but it felt like home being back in that neighborhood.

I've realized that my home is really a combinations of many places and houses, since I moved around so much growing up. To be able to go back and see the places where I lived, gives me a sense of being at home. I don't know if that's what people feel, who grew up in one house, when they visit home...maybe I'll never completely know that feeling, but to me home is more like a puzzle that is made up of many pieces. When it's all put together, I feel at home.

After our stop in Pozuelo, we drove down to the old city of Toledo. We spent the night there and had a great time seeing the city's cathedral and also being there during Spanish "carnaval". We had churros con chocolate (SO yummy) and strolled around like honeymooners, holding hands and reveling in our independence. The next day we drove to the east coast to the timeshare we had reserved, stopping at some amazing sites along the way.

Unfortunately, the timeshare was the biggest downer of our trip. It didn't have any heating, which made it VERY cold, since it is Winter there. There was also virtually no hot water to shower, so we suffered through one night and freezing cold showers, and then decided that even though it would be a lot more expensive, we had to get out of there. We took off within the first few hours, and drove up to Barcelona where we spent 2 days. I won't describe all of Barcelona because you can see the pics here.

After Barcelona, we drove back to central Spain to the city of Segovia. Again, see the pics to get an idea of what we saw in Segovia: the Roman aqueduct, the Alcazar castle, our amazing hotel, and the city itself. Our last night we spent in Madrid, where we enjoyed a Flamenco show. The next morning (1 week after arriving in Spain) we got on a plane and flew back to normal life. It was SO great to see the girls again; I had been missing them a lot. I think the saddest part of coming home was calculating exactly how much money we had spent there, but how often do you get to go to Spain? *grin* It was worth every dollar (or euro!)

BIG REASON #4 - Kent's Birthday

Because Kent is a Valentine baby, we always separate celebrating Valentine's Day from celebrating his birthday. This year Kent requested a karaoke birthday party, so we sang away the evening (see pics here --> ). We also bored everyone with our Spain slideshow, but we sure had fun!!!!

NOW YOU'RE UPDATED! There is, of course, more to tell, but that'll have to wait until another day...